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Shopping experiences..really is shopping an experience?

Have you noticed that shopping centres and large department stores have undergone a complete re-brand as of late? I understand their need to keep up with the changing times, stay fresh and re-think the way a consumer shops but can we really have an experience whilst we getting the groceries?

The first thing I observed was shopping centres have been renamed and no it hasn’t been Americanised to ‘the mall’. In fact, they are now ‘a lifestyle destination’ where people come to connect, share and well spend.

I believe it all starts when we become first-time-mums, we want to get out and about and we look for a place that is convenient with prams where we can easily park undercover, tick of some of our ‘to do list’ items and be confident there is a clean, good parents room.

From there we look for a play area, we all love a good climbing area for younger children! This is often near the supermarket and for those that really have their thinking caps on, conveniently locate the play equipment next to a coffee shop. Maybe your local centre offers giveaways or the occasional ‘meet and greet’ or a new store launch party but check out any website and you will now see an ‘event’ section or even a ‘play’ tab.

We are pretty used to being spoiled for choice at Christmas time with dazzling Christmas displays, workshops, virtual games and train rides to get into the spirit. But we can now experience this type of playful fun all year round.

Now how about the department stores, have you participated in the children’s activities at the ‘magical one-of-a-kind shopping experience’ offered in Sydney? They have a neighbourhood map on the wall so you can easily find the activity you would like to experience, an ice-cream & coffee cart and lots of Instagram opportunities. Shop, play and explore.

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Our local “lifestyle destination” has just started Storytime, another has a pop-up children’s library. I view this as a win win for everyone, for busy parents and of course for the clever marketing campaign to get us to go to certain shops. Next time you are grocery shopping with kids in tow why not go on the day they have an event so the kids can have fun, learn or create something instead of being bored.

As school holidays have began, why not check out the events page of your local shopping centre for some ‘free’ kids’ activities? I’m loving this! We recently joined a pot painting class and walked away wanting to do more. Easter craft or egg hunt anyone?

Whilst I don’t want to encourage you to shop more and certainly do not want you buy more unnecessary stuff, I do believe we should all play and experience more and if that happens to happen at a “lifestyle destination” sometimes, then let it be.

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